This award is given to a non-landscape architectural individual, group, organization, or agency in the Province of Ontario to recognize and encourage a special or unusual contribution to the sensitive, sustainable design for human use of the environment. The contribution must emulate the fundamental principles of OALA and the OALA Mission Statement and go beyond the normal levels of community action in preserving, protecting or improving the environment.
Green Infrastructure Ontario
Accepting this award is Paul Ronan, member of the Steering Committee, and Executive Director of Ontario Parks Association.
The discussion of forming a coalition began in 2007 over coffee among a group of organizational leaders in various environmental fields seeing the need to change how we work to better our well-being. The discussion turned into talks of partnership and the need to promote the use of green technology as a way to work with the effects of climate change and improve our connection with the natural environment and ultimately better our physical and mental health. A Steering Committee was formed in 2009 consisting of the founding members and by 2010, the Steering Committee had grown to seven member strong adding Deborah Martin-Downs of The Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA),
Paul Ronan of the Ontario Parks Association (OPA), David Stonehouse of Evergreen, Doris Chee then Secretary of the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects (OALA), and added Charley Worte of Conservation Ontario in 2013. By the end of 2013, the Steering Committee also included supporters actively involved with initiatives brought to the Committees attention. These supporters include Faisal Moola of David Suzuki Foundation, Rob Keen of Forests Ontario and Clifford Maynes of Green Communities Canada.
Founded in 2011 by Steven Peck of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC), Janet McKay of Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests (LEAF) and Tony DiGiovanni of Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association (LOHTA), Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition is affecting policies and decision makers in both the public and private sectors for a more economical, sustainable and healthier benefits for our need of built infrastructure. Policy wins attributed to the work of GIO are seen in the recent acknowledgment of green infrastructure by the Province of Ontario Municipal Affairs and Housing in its revised Provincial Policy Statement. This policy win, and a shift of momentum in favour of green infrastructure as a legitimate alternative to grey (traditional) infrastructure can largely be attributed to GIO and their 2012 report: Health, Prosperity and Sustainability: The Case for Green Infrastructure in Ontario. This report drew upon input from diverse stakeholders and existing research to present an argument for improved policy and support in favour of green infrastructure in Ontario.
TRCA for the Living City Policies for Planning and Development in the Watersheds of Toronto and Region Conservation Authorities
Accepting the award are Laurie Nelson and Mary-Ann Burns, members of the primary policy team within TRCA’s Planning and Development Division.
This document is the result of collaboration of environmental professionals within the Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) in the production of a technical policy document that provides the foundation for site review and design in compliance with the Conservation Authorities Act. The document also advocates the integration of art and science when addressing enviormental issues in a rapidly growing region. This creative approach to our urbanizing landscape will bring value and permit development of complex site planning scenarios while respecting our greenspace system.
Seeking opportunities to enhance the resilience of new and revitalizing communities, our professionals look to the research of our watershed studies to manage boarder community and site plan changes to meet Provincial standards. TRCA’s plan review teams are committed to fostering a green foundation for new development and redevelopment alike that reaps benefits for public safety, environmental regeneration, and improved urban spaces critical for both environmental and human health. This integrated approach to watershed management complements both the natural hazard and natural heritage objectives of the Provincial Policy Statement, while contributing to achieving Growth Plan objectives.
The work of environmental planners and landscape architects is changing perspectives on the value of “green” to that of a key contributor to interconnected, multi-functional landscapes providing benefits for urban biodiversity and improved urban spaces for beauty and social activities.
This document has been reviewed by 18 municipalities within TRCA’s jurisdiction, been throgh extensive public consulation, the BILD (the Building Industry and Land Development association) and several provincial agencies. It has gained solid support as a policy document clearly articulating the Conservation Authority roles and responsibilities and our partnering approach with other agencies and groups to address urgent environmental needs. The vision for a well-designed and scientifically managed environment that supports sustainable living and an attractive public realm is certainly fundamental to our concepts of “nature in the city” and a future Living City.
This document is the first of its kind in Ontario, providing a foundation policy model applicable to many Conservation Authorities across Ontario.This policy program and its inherent principles builds a strong correlation between the OALA mission for maintaining professional standards, as well as, serving and protecting the public interest.
The Living City Policies has taken many years to prepare this research and policy framework which will contribute to solid development design and regulatory approvals as our City Region moves into the Growth Plan phases of implementation. A view of the value of creative technical design resolution and thoughtful landscape integration is imperative for the future of a quality landscape in our city region.